Once in awhile, you hear somebody say, when something disastrous occurs, “Everything happens for a reason.” (And its corollary: It’s a blessing in disguise. Ugh.) I used to say it, too. But now, it brings up thoughts of infants dying of SIDS, of good people having a fatal disease, of innocent folks experience a mudslide without insurance. Why would anything happen to them!
I believe in God, albeit an agnostic right at the edge, but I believe it’s a random occurrence for how things shake down. It’s all bad luck. Don’t fool yourself. It’s not “God’s plan.” How could it be!
Canadian philosopher Dr. Paul Thagard says, “For some people, thinking this way makes it easier to deal with relationship problems, financial crises, disease, death, and even natural disasters such as earthquakes. It can be distressing to think that bad things happen merely through chance or accident. But they do.”
Adversity strategist Tim Lawrence writes, “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”
Freelance journalist Nicholas Clairmont argues, “‘Everything happens for a reason’ is my very least favorite thing for someone to say.”
The list is endless. Can they all be wrong?
Let me give you some scenarios when “Everything happens for a reason” is said most–when some friend is going through a relationship break-up and you say, “Everything happens for reason.” It’s ridiculous. Fucked up. Or when somebody lost all their retirement money in a scam. Or when somebody lost a child. Egads, person! Everything happens for a reason? Get real!
The event that changed my mind forever in not saying “everything happens for a reason” was my stroke on April 8, 2009. I had low cholesterol, low blood pressure, no diabetes, and participated in none of the life choices people make to cause a stroke to happen. I couldn’t have prevented a stroke anyway because as it turns out, I had “S protein deficiency” that is a disorder of blood clotting. People with this condition have an increased risk of developing abnormal blood clots. And I had clots in every limb.
“Everything happens for a reason” was said by a friend, M, when I had the stroke, two months after.
“Look what it did! Everything happens for a reason because if you didn’t have a stroke, your book [The Tales of a Stroke Patient] wouldn’t have been written.”
I thought, What a moronic thing to say. I am an author, having written a book and articles before my stroke. I hid in the bathroom for about an hour, sobbing, dry heaving, and thinking she’s a stupid jerk. I imagine she felt better, thinking that expression was kind, giving me cause to write, but I felt so much worse. I would write some other book.
So why even try if it’s God’s plan anyway? How about if you cruise through life on a shoestring budget because if it’s God’s plan, why bother? Those words are blasphemy to some, but if there really is God, and I think there is, why wouldn’t He want the best for everyone?
These are God questions that I asked in elementary school, sixty and some odd years ago. I still have no answers about God and His plans. But “everything happens for a reason” is bullshit. I answered that 10 years ago.